Sources for Data on Social Determinants of Health

Woman studying data graphs pointing on screen of computer at desktop.

Data can be a catalyst for improving community health and well-being. Understanding data on social determinants of health, such as income, educational level, and employment, can help focus efforts to improve community health. The following tools are supported by CDC resources; some tools include references to data sources outside of CDC.

  • Chronic Disease Indicators
    • Level of data: state, territory, select large metropolitan areas
    • The Chronic Disease Indicators enable public health professionals and policy makers to retrieve state and selected metropolitan-level data for chronic diseases and risk factors, including overarching conditions that are SDOH.
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Surveillance System
    • Level of data: national
    • This interactive, comprehensive, systematic surveillance system documents the burden of CKD and its risk factors in the US population over time. It also tracks progress of efforts to prevent, detect, and manage CKD and its complications. Newly included in the system are trends in CKD and household food insecurity score.
  • Compendium of Federal Datasets Addressing Health Disparitiesexternal icon
    • Level of data:  multiple
    • The Compendium is an initiative of the Interdepartmental Health Equity Collaborative (IHEC) and the HHS Office of Minority Health to encourage intersectoral collaboration across federal agencies to better address health disparities. The data within the Compendium serves as a resource to identify the relationship between socioeconomic factors, social determinants of health, and health equity. This new Compendium includes: descriptions of over 250 databases from HHS and 9 other Departments/federal partners; information on data sources relevant to opioid use/research; and information on datasets with more controlled access (e.g. those available from biorepositories).
  • Disability and Health Data System (DHDS)
    • Level of data: state
    • This online source of state-level data on adults with disabilities helps users access information on six functional disability types: cognitive, hearing, mobility, vision, self-care, and independent living. Data on more than 30 health topics among adults, with or without disabilities, can be explored in DHDS, including smoking, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Users can customize data maps, charts, and tables, making it easy to see information about their state or region. They can identify health differences between adults with and without disabilities overall, and by age, gender, and race/ethnicity.
  • PLACES: Local Data for Better Health
  • Level of data: county, place, census tract, ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA)
    • PLACES provides small area estimates for chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, health status, and clinical preventive service use for counties, places (incorporated and census designated), census tracts and ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTA) across the United States.  These small area estimates allow cities and local health departments to better understand the burden and geographic distribution of health-related variables in their jurisdictions and assist them in planning public health interventions. Included among prevention measures is health insurance status.
  • Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke
    • Level of data: national, state, territory, county, census tract
    • The Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke enables online county-level mapping of heart disease and stroke by race/ethnicity, gender, and age group. Maps can also show social and economic factors by census tract and county along with the locations of health services.
  • National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP) AtlasPlus
    • Level of data: national, state, select territories
    • The NCHHSTP AtlasPlus gives you quick access to more than 15 years of CDC’s surveillance data on HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and tuberculosis (TB). Users can also view social and economic data in conjunction with HIV, viral hepatitis, STDs, and TB infections. This data can be viewed in interactive maps, graphs, tables, and figures showing geographic patterns and time trends.
  • National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network
    • Level of data: national, state, county
    • The Tracking Network is a system of integrated health, exposure, and hazard information and data from a variety of national, state, and city sources. Maps, tables, and charts with data about environmental indicators (e.g., particulate matter in the air) are available.
  • The Social Vulnerability Index
    • Level of data: census tract
    • The Social Vulnerability Index uses U.S. census variables at tract level to help local officials identify communities that may need support in preparing for hazards or recovering from disaster. Social vulnerability refers to the resilience of communities when confronted by external stresses on human health, stresses such as natural or human-caused disasters, or disease outbreaks. Reducing social vulnerability can decrease both human suffering and economic loss.
  • Vulnerable Populations Footprint Toolexternal icon
    • Level of data: state, county, city, census tract
    • The Vulnerable Populations Footprint Tool creates maps and reports that identify geographic areas with high poverty rates and low education levels—two key social determinant indicators of population health. Thresholds for target areas are adjustable, allowing the tool to be used in geographic areas where regional rates may be higher or lower than the national average. (Free registration required to log in to this tool.)

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Page last reviewed: September 30, 2021